Arsenal v Manchester United: Will Mourinho Stick or Twist in Emirates Clash?

The festive month of December is almost here, and that brings Premier League football games thick and fast. This weekend’s big match pits Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal side against Manchester United, in a Saturday evening blockbuster – kick off: 17:30.

Both teams arrive to this game in excellent recent league form with each side having won their last three league outings. The Gunners currently sit four points behind United in the league standings and a victory over the Red Devils would bring Wenger’s men within relative touching distance of Premier League pacesetters, Manchester City.

United trail eight points behind City which means this game is hugely important in their quest to keep pace with their neighbours. United boss, Jose Mourinho has been usually pragmatic in his approach to away games against fellow top-six rivals, so it will be interesting to see how the Portuguese manager sets his team out in this must-win contest.

Match Odds

It seems quite obvious that the bookmaking fraternity are having some difficulty in deciding which team are their choice to win this game, with such narrow betting margins. Arsenal are currently installed as the favourites at best available odds at the time of writing of 157/100 with MarathonBet.

An indication of the closeness for the betting for this game is that United are as short as 17/10 to claim the spoils in North London, however, Marathon Bet offer 193/100 on Mourinho’s men getting the victory. The draw is available with Stan James and 188Bet at best odds of 12/5.

The last two league meetings between these two sides have ended in comfortable 2-0 and 3-0 wins for Arsenal. United’s last win at the Emirates was a 2-1 victory back in 2014 under Louis van Gaal. Considering the tight nature of the betting, the draw could be the play in this fixture despite both teams not wishing for a stalemate.

Individual Goal Scorers

Alexandre Lacazette

Belgian striker, Romelu Lukaku is going through a barren spell in front of goal for United in recent weeks, but is still the bookmakers’ favourite to score the opening goal on Saturday night. MarathonBet offers 24/5 on Lukaku to get back on the scoring trail.

Arsenal’s leading hope according to the odds layers is French striker, Alexandre Lacazette who is a 5/1 chance with bet365 and Boylesports to bag the first goal. Team mate, Alexis Sanchez has been a thorn in United’s side in recent meetings and could be the man to be on for Arsenal in this game, at the tempting odds of 51/10 with Unibet and MarathonBet.

Other players worthy of consideration include, United’s Anthony Martial – provided he starts the game – who is another player bang in form, and can be backed at 15/2 with Boylesports. Mesut Ozil has been linked with a move to Old Trafford in recent weeks, could potentially derail United’s title hopes by striking the first goal at a tempting 12/1 with bet365.

Other Side Bets

My personal feeling on this game is that Mourinho will throw caution to the wind and go for Arsenal on Saturday night, instead of the usual ‘do not lose’ approach. Jose has ‘parked the bus’ in many big away games for United, but with an eight-point gap to Manchester City, United must try and keep pace.

Statistically, the Red Devils are defensively sound by conceding just eight goals in their 14 league games so far, but especially if Nemanja Matic cannot shake off his injury after retiring hurt at Watford, United can be opened up more easily in defensive areas. Both Teams to Score can be taken with 188BET at the best industry price of 13/18 and is a strong selection for this game.

Looking towards the Correct Score market, a 1-1 draw is the bookmakers’ favourite – and is my selection here, in spite of it being an obvious choice. 10BET offers the best price of 25/4 on the Emirates stalemate. Another bet worth noting is the offer of 18/5 on offer from 188BET for Both Teams to Score and the match to end in a draw.

Best Bets

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